We use cookies to help us make this website better for our visitors. More about how we use cookies.

FAQs

There has been some confusion about the position of citizenship education in schools. Here we answer some frequently asked questions that have been put to us - and bust some of the myths we've been told.

Image by Scott McLeod on flickr.com (licence: CC BY 2.0)
Image by Scott McLeod (licence: CC BY 2.0)

Do schools have to teach citizenship?

Secondary (key stages 3 and 4)

Yes.

Citizenship is statutory on the National Curriculum for key stages 3 and 4, so all secondary schools that follow the National Curriculum must teach the citizenship programmes of study. How they do it is up to them, though there is a strong argument that it needs a formal curriculum slot if it is to be coherent and taken seriously.

Academies and free schools don't have to follow the National Curriculum and can therefore avoid teaching the citizenship programmes of study. However, all schools must show Ofsted how they deliver to SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development), British values and the Prevent Duty, all of which benefit from structured citizenship lessons. In fact, Government guidance recommends the citizenship curriculum as a place to address the Prevent Duty.

Primary (key stages 1 and 2)

No, but they are encouraged to.

Primary schools do not have to teach a curriculum subject called 'citizenship'. However, the Department for Education has published a non-statutory PSHE and Citizenship framework to help primary schools in this area.

And, like all schools, primary schools must show how they deliver to SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development), British values and the Prevent Duty, all of which benefit from structured citizenship lessons.

Do academies and free schools have to teach citizenship?

Academies and free schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum and therefore have no legal duty to teach the citizenship programmes of study.

However, all schools must show Ofsted how they deliver to SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development), British values and the Prevent Duty, all of which benefit from structured citizenship lessons. Government guidance recommends the citizenship curriculum as a place to tackle Prevent.

Will GCSE citizenship count in Progress 8 measures?

Yes.

Any three non-Ebacc GCSE subjects can count towards Progress 8 (which comes into force in September 2016). GCSE Citizenship will be available to schools from at least two exam board; and, at the time of writing (February 2016), another board is waiting for Ofqual to approve its exams.


Updated: 26 February 2016.

Printable version of this page. Printable version

Related items

Latest News